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I haven't setup any wifi networks other than an access point or two at any single location, so I'd like advice on how to setup an outdoor/weatherproof network in an area approximately 150 feet by 200 feet.

The interesting thing is there are a pair of pools in the middle of the coverage area. Here is a picture: blue is pool, green is coverage area, yellow is building with wired access.

Can anyone advise me on weatherproof APs, antennas and placement for best coverage of the pool deck? I've looked at the Meraki stuff, but I'm thinking it's overkill.

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3 Answers

I would definetely recommend outdoor Ubiquity product - cheap, waterproof and stable. And with PoE, so you don't have to solve power line, just ethernet cable.

If you can place it on the top of the building, there shouldn't be problem with full coverage. Omnidirectional antena around 12dBi should do the work.

Look at this: http://www.ubnt.com/bullet

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These look interesting, although I see some negative comments regarding the latest OS release. BTW, The site doesn't explicitly say the Bullet is an AP like they do with the nanos and picos. Is it an AP? –  Robot Jun 1 '10 at 15:04
    
We have this device on point-to-point, AP and clients and without any problem. And you can always downgrade to older firmware. The site doesn't say if it's AP, but it can act like a AP, client and WDS. –  mkudlacek Jun 2 '10 at 6:38
    
IIRC all of Ubiquiti's 802.11 products can work as a AP, SU, and some of them in Mesh. Only some of the ISP products, like the Loco are locked into SU mode. –  Chris S Jun 30 '11 at 12:27
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Full Disclosure: I work for Meraki, who specialize in enterprise-class networking devices.

Meraki makes the MR58 AP that might be good for what you're doing:

  • Weatherproof - Easily mounted outdoors
  • Power over Ethernet - Single run to provide power and network backhaul
  • mesh networking - Alternate means of wireless network backhaul
  • "cloud controller" - For managing multiple units centrally (and more)

Our website has a price list page, including more information on purchase options.

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I spoke with a sales rep, and the outdoor looks good. Question, do you sell/recommend a non-omni antenna? As you can see from my diagram, I actually need only 180 to 200 degrees of coverage. –  Robot Jun 3 '10 at 11:01
    
We do! meraki.com/products_services/accessories/antenna_panel is what you're looking for, it's got a 60º cone of coverage. Let me know if you need anything else. –  joeybaker Jun 4 '10 at 16:28
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How many concurrent clients would you like to be supporting?

If you just want a simple no frills installation grab a cheap outdoor certified (IP44 Should do the trick) AP and you are ready to go.

Edit: for best coverage I would place it in the West corner , but if getting power&ethernet over there is too much of a hassle placing it EAST near/on the building should provide good coverage

http://www.bizrate.com/bridges-routers/access-point-outdoor/

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Probably 10 to 15 concurrent users, max. Thanks for the pointers. –  Robot Jun 1 '10 at 13:50
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